How many string lights will I need for my wedding reception?

String lights or fairy lights as they are more commonly referred to have long been a mainstay within the wedding industry. There's nothing that can add quite the same magical "fairytale-esque" ambience to a wedding venue. However, when running through wedding lighting ideas, many ponder the question of how many will I need?  

The meterage of string lights you hire will depend on the size and location of your venue as well as your overall wedding theme. Some intimate indoor wedding receptions may only require 100 metres or less, whereas more extravagant outdoor celebrations could require as much as 500 metres.

Thus, given that there's no straightforward answer to this question, let's delve a little deeper into the factors that will decide how many meters of fairy/twinkle lights you will need to hire for your indoor or outdoor wedding reception or simply event! 

Indoor vs Outdoor Wedding Reception

While it may seem obvious, it's worth mentioning that you will feature string lights more heavily as part of an outdoor lighting ensemble than you will for an indoor wedding venue. When going through the lighting design phase, string lights will feature heavily in an outdoor lineup, whereas they might only be used as wedding décor features for an indoor celebration – reducing the meterage required.

For example, they are an excellent fit if you are looking to accentuate the night sky by running string lights in straight lines across the "open-air ceiling" above. 

Outdoor Wedding Lights

However, indoors, you may only need Christmas lights to wrap around some of your venue wedding features. 

Indoor Wedding Light Ideas

Size of the Wedding Venue

Think about the size of the wedding venue but more importantly what area you want to light up and create the focal point or zoned area. 

Overall Wedding Style/Theme

For some happy couples, the string lights are will be the focal point of the lighting lineup. In contrast, others will only want to use them in a specific area, such as over the outdoor dance floor or in the smoking lounge area.

You might want string lights to create a party vibe or highlight specific aspects of your wedding day décor, such as your floral arrangements.

Style of String Lights

In many cases, the specific string lighting style will determine how many meters or the number of string lights you need. In other instances, you might feel that larger cafe lights (also go by the name of bistro lights / festoon lights) with an edison bulb look are the perfect wedding inspiration. You can always combine festoon lights and fairy lights for the ultimate lighting combo. 

Common Fairy Light Patterns

Zig zag rows where you weave the lights back and forth 

Fairy Light Wedding Ideas

Another popular look with the zig zag approach is to have a U shape swag as you drape them. 

Outdoor Wedding Lights

Fairy Light rows evenly spaced out. Our port connectors are helpful for this design.

Outdoor Fairy Lights

fairy light hanging ideas


Fairy Light Tunnel where you create a fairy light tunnel for your entrance or over your dining table. Curtain Lights are fantastic for this design! 

fairy light tunnel

Fairy Light Tunnel

Irrespective of your choice, it will require differing gaps between the lights and thus will impact how many you need to hire for your wedding. Smaller lights will likely have smaller gaps between each LED light, reducing how many meters you need, whereas larger bulb styles will usually have larger gaps between rows. 


1. Indoor or Outdoor Lighting? 

2. What area do you want to light up and what is the length & width of that space? 

3. What hanging pattern style do you prefer? 

For example: 

I have an area that is 10m long and 5m in width. 

I want to have a zig zag canopy of fairy lights and the lighting will be a main feature over dining tables. Therefore small-mid size gaps between each row, ideally 50cm. 

The rows will run along width to width.

Therefore with the 50cm gap I will have 20 rows along the length stretching out in 5m lengths.

20 rows x 5m = 100m of lighting 

For further advice please email us with your wedding or event lighting ideas to and we can help. 

For more inspiration don't forget to follow us on Instagram (loveyourlightsnz) and Facebook.